I guess writing a piece telling you how to personalise your home is a contradiction in terms. If tell you what I’d do then we would have a population of homes throughout Britain that were personal to me…why, with this kind of power I could take over! The world could be mine Mooohoohahahaaa!!! Sorry- typing out loud.
Seriously though, adding a personal touch to your home is all about making it yours and yours alone. The point of it is to create a house that represents you, or at least the parts that you would like people to know about you! Not only will a personalised home better represent you, it will also work much harder for you as you tailor it to meet not only your decorative tastes but also your functional needs.
Though no long distance designer can tell you how best to create your tailor made home, what I can do is point you in the direction of areas you may want to look into first.
Artwork and framed photographs are probably the simplest and most effective way of adding instant character to any room. Prints by your favourite artist or photographer are a great way to go- especially if you happen to be a big fan of Pop Art or the work of gorilla artist/protester Banksy as both look incredible on a bare brick or plain white wall. If you’re not overly familiar with the work of many artists you can still use artwork to speak on your behalf by looking for prints or paintings depicting places you have visited or activities you partake in.
If you are looking for ways to use your own photographs in a more artistic or attention grabbing manner a canvas montage might be an option Canvas prints can look extremely effective when they display a photo montage rather than a single picture and this gives you a great opportunity to show off even more of your best pictures. Try to stick to shots that are based on the same subject or are related in some way and bear in mind the size of the canvas you choose in order to enjoy the very best results from a photo montage. There are many online specialists now who cater for this sort of thing and usually all they need to do is send them some shots via the net and specify the size of canvas you require.
Other ways of using yourself as a muse for your décor is to simply sit and reminisce with your partner or family about holidays or days out that stick out in your mind particularly. A theme based on a particular culture or country is generally very easy to achieve. Alternatively you may want to let your lifestyle and hobbies dictate the look of your home, in my experience I have find that the most successful projects start out this way. Would a home studio or office suit your needs (if so, remember to include lots of task lighting like spotlights and large table lamps? Maybe library or cinema room (if so, remember to include lined ready made curtains in the
design to ensure complete darkness? If you are a big cook or enjoy having people around for dinner, you would be best served by placing more emphasis (i.e. budget, space) on your kitchen than perhaps an overly large sitting area. A well stocked, commercial standard kitchen would make your home a much more satisfying place to be if you count Hells Kitchen or Come Dine With amongst your favourite TV shows.
The thing to remember is that a house full of character is essentially a museum for your experiences, a photo album of your life, as a famous Dutch beer once told us- you can’t rush these things. Personalising a home is the answer to the lazy decorator’s prayers- it should be done organically and only when you are truly inspired, never forced. Take your time, think a lot, think of everything you’ve got, for you may still be here tomorrow but your….hang on, typing out loud again!